God and Tragedy in Secular Public Schools

God and Tragedy in Secular Public Schools December 15, 2012

Rev. Jeremy Smith posted some thoughts in response to those who claim that God being “uninvited” from schools has something to do with the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Randal Rauser did the same.

I would go even further than they do, even further than I did in my previous post on the topic.

The shooting in this elementary school was not carried out by some elementary-age child who had rebelled against God and, as a result, decided to kill lots of people. It was carried out by someone who came into a school where children, despite there being no formal religious activity or education imposed on them, were behaving in a civilized manner towards one another (as much as can be expected from children no matter their religious affiliation). And many lives were saved because teachers in that school, teachers who never imposed their religious views on the children, acted heroically to save their lives.

The claim that this has something to do with prayer being taken out of schools is absolute vile garbage.

But if you are still not convinced, then consider all the places where God is formally recognized, invoked, and addressed in prayer, while people within the congregation, in some instances even a pastor or priest or other member of the church's staff, engages in sexual or other forms of physical abuse against children.

Mentioning God is no safeguard against tragedy, nor against those who invoke God being engaged in heinous acts against children.

And so before you applaud the comments of Mike Huckabee, Eric Hovind, Bryan Fischer, and others like them, keep in mind that you are elevating the paying of lip service to God over concrete actions of faith and heroism, of the sort that are responsible for many lives having been saved in Sandy Hook Elementary School.

If you have nothing to say that is comforting, nothing to say that is not a thinly-veiled attempt to use intense suffering as an opportunity to try to score points for whatever team you think you represent, then you would do better to stay silent.



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